Pecker
Rating -

Comedy (US); 1998; Rated R; 87 Minutes

Cast
Edward Furlong: Pecker
Christina Ricci: Shelley
Mary Kay Place: Joyce
Marthat Plimption: Tina
Brendan Sexton III: Matt

Produced by Joseph M. Coracciolo Jr., John Fiedler, Pat Moran, Mark Ordesky, Joe Reuitte, Mark Tarlov and Jonathan Weisgal; Directed and screenwritten by John Waters

Review Uploaded
11/16/98

Written by DAVID KEYES

"Pecker" is the type of movie where you sit there and wonder how bad it gets. When it reaches that level of badness, you sit there and watch it get worse and worse, and once it's just as bad as you think it can get, it's gets so bad that you either fall asleep or excuse yourself into the bathroom so you can vomit.

"Pecker" is one of the most lacking movies that has ever existed. It is an artificial, intelligently-blind hunk of junk that exists only to waste time and money. Those who made it probably will never sit through it themselves, because it's likely obvious to anyone who sees it that not even film makers can be this screwed up. It's so despicable that it awakened anger in me that only movies like "Dazed And Confused" had. Congratulate 1998 for containing not one, but two of the worst movies of all time. If there's anymore like it on the way, it might be time to change careers.

Here is something, finally, that manages to define the true state of movie badness. It could not have been more joyless or more lifeless even if Howard Stern had made it. It's not necessarily so inept that it's nauseating; on top of it's uninteresting elements lies a story and direction that are so lifeless and dull that I'm at a loss for words when I attempt to describe it.

Judge for yourself:

Pecker is the name of the star of the picture, who is played by Edward Furlong. Pecker was named so because he pecked at his food in a younger state of childhood. Yet, unless his parents named him about two years into his life, how in the world would they know at birth that they peck at his food?*

Anyway, Pecker is an artist--or rather, a photographer, who has the passion for taking pictures of the modern street subjects, like prostitutes, hostile police battles, etc. His pictures are considered the illusion of modern society; portraits of taboo and fragmented subjects, which is, of course, routine for the average John Waters film.

Let me explain Mr. Waters before I go any further. This is a unique and over expressive man; a man who has been dubbed 'the king of trash talk' by taking certain pop culture subjects and displaying them in often excruciating and grotesque ways.

"Pink Flamingos" was one of his early movies, and by far his most bizarre. It displayed such disgusting mannerism that I wouldn't dare talk about here. Actually, I've never actually seen the movie, and judging from the subject matter invovled (like eating Canine bowel and having intercourse with chickens), I never will. Material like that sounds too gross to handle.

But "Pecker" isn't gross. Instead, it's lifeless and dull. Pecker doesn't consider himself to be a great photographer, but once a press agent sees his work, she's impressed, and before you know it, Pecker becomes an overnight success.

Oh, but the title character is the most tolerated. The others of the movie are hardly worth mentioning, because they aren't developed well, they lack characteristic integrity and emotion, and have nothing special about them other than their names. And this, of course, is a surprise, because I expected to see smutty characters and an average smutty Waters film when I entered the theater. But I emerged from it finding that the trashlessness of it made it completely un-energetic. Of course "Pecker" doesn't get as bad as Waters' generally dirty movies, but it doesn't get any better, either.

Movies usually don't get zero stars from being boring, but "Pecker" does. It doesn't even have the strength to push buttons like "Pink Flamingos" did, nor does it have the artistic distinction to amuse the audience for more than twenty minutes. Geez, can't John Waters ever get it right? Is it time he retired?

Let's hope that answer comes before his next movie.

*I may have missed something in this movie, since "Pecker," I consider, is the boy's actual name. After this review was published, a source informed me that 'Pecker' was merely a nickname he inherited. If this is indeed true, I regrettably missed it.

Take that as another criticism. If a movie bores one so much, it's sometimes natural to miss a tidbit here and there.


1998, David Keyes, Cinemaphile.org. Please e-mail the author here if the above review contains any spelling or grammar mistakes.
 
 
           
     
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